Labor calls for investigation into fellow Conservative Party colleague Michelle Moon over PPE contract | House of Lords

Labor is demanding an investigation into the conduct and sincerity of conservative counterpart Michelle Moon after she repeatedly denied any association with the personal protective equipment (PPE) company that has since emerged and been recommended by the government.

The Ministry of Health and Social Care (DHSC) recently revealed this Ms. Moon mentioned PPE Medpro Ltd as a potential supplier During the coronavirus pandemic. It was then entered into a high-priority ‘VIP’ fast-track for companies with political connections before being awarded two contracts, for face masks and surgical gowns, with a total value of £203m.

Medpro PPE was formed on May 12 last year and is managed and staffed by two directors by the Knox House Trust (KHT), a corporate services firm in the Isle of Man run by Mone’s husband, Douglas Barrowman.

In extensive correspondence over the course of six weeks last year, The Guardian repeatedly asked Mone about her connection to Medpro personal protective equipment. She was also asked if she had any discussions with government officials about the company.

Meanwhile, PPE Medpro was asked if anyone involved with the company had held discussions with any peers as part of its approach to government.

In their responses, neither Mone nor PPE Medpro disclosed that they had referred the company to Lord Agnew, Cabinet Office Minister.

At the time of the correspondence, Mona’s lawyers repeatedly denied that she had any connection or association with the company, or any role in how she secured contracts.

One response stated that Mone and Barrowman “had no role or function in Medpro PPE, nor in the process by which contracts were awarded to PPE Medpro”. Her lawyers said Mone was “in no way connected to Medpro PPE” and added that “any suggestion of a link” between their client and PPE Medpro would be “inaccurate and misleading.”

The lawyers also said that “with reference to the ‘high priority lane’ … any suggestion that either [Mone or Barrowman] Any role played in how Medpro PPE contracts are handled would be wholly inaccurate and misleading.”

However, last week DHSC . detection That Mone apparently played a crucial role in the process, by making the initial recommendation to Agnew.

After its referral, Agnew recommended the company to the “VIP” corridor for companies referred by ministers, MPs or peers. At the time, the government was awarding non-competitive bidding contracts under Covid emergency regulations. Companies Referred to VIP Pass It was 10 times You are more likely to get a contractAccording to the report of the National Audit Bureau.

Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner called on the government – or cabinet secretary if the government refused – to publish all correspondence, documents, minutes of meetings and memos relating to all contracts awarded through the VIP process.

Rainer said: “There are serious questions that Baroness Moon must answer about whether she was telling the truth when she said she played no part in awarding £200m of taxpayer money to PPE Medpro. Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party also have serious questions to answer. regarding Baroness Moon’s position if it turns out that she lied about her role in these contracts and the fast-track course of VIPs.

“If Baroness Moon does not tell the truth about her role in these contracts, then it is clear that she has failed to uphold the Nolan Principles and there are further questions to answer about whether she was in violation of House of Lords behavioral rules. Baroness Moon shall refer herself to the commissioners of the House of Lords for investigation if she is confident that she has done nothing wrong and has nothing to hide.”

The Code of Conduct for Members of the House of Lords It states that they must “observe the seven general principles of conduct established by the Committee on Public Life Standards,” known as the Nolan Principles. These include integrity, accountability, openness and honesty, and a positive leadership duty, which requires members to “strongly promote and uphold the principles.”

Moon’s role in the process is revealed after DHSC Published a list of 47 companies The awarding of contracts through the VIP pass after the ensuing FOI good bill, which challenges the eligibility of some government contracts.

There is no evidence that Mone played any role in PPE Medpro to secure her contracts last year, other than her initial referral.

However, the Financial Times reported this week that Moon had also lobbied officials working in the government’s testing and tracing program, apparently on behalf of Medpro personal protective equipment. Jackie Rock, a senior official, emailed colleagues on February 10, saying, “Baroness Moon is going to Michael Gove and Matt Hancock today because she’s glowing from the way she thinks Medpro handled her.” [sic] In this regard.”

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“In terms of testing and tracing, the government has called for all companies bidding for UK contracts to be treated fairly and for a transparent process to be adopted by the DHSC in awarding contracts,” Mooney representatives told the Financial Times.

In response to questions from The Guardian, Mone’s lawyers said: “Baroness Mone does not deny the simple act of referring Medpro PPE as a potential supplier of personal protective equipment to Lord Agnew’s office.”

However, they said, Mooney has vehemently denied that any of her previous statements are false or misleading, saying they have denied being associated, connected, or having a role in Medpro PPE, in the “commercial sense” of those words. They described Mone’s referral of the company to Agnew as a “very simple, singular and brief step,” which she did as a contribution to the Covid emergency response.

The Guardian is still awaiting a response from Mone’s attorney as to why the colleague initially chose not to disclose her referral to PPE Medpro.

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